By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com
The Voice: Season 11 went live for the first time this season!
Also, for the first time in show history, fans can vote live, and by the end of the night, we will learn who will be this season’s Top 12.
Which artists were saved by the American public? Who was saved by their coach (Adam Levine, Alicia Keys, Blake Shelton, and Miley Cyrus)? Read on to find out!
Team Alicia kicked off the Season 11 Live Shows with her powerhouse team! I have said this before, and I will say it again: Team Alicia has the best team this season! Christian Cuevas kicked off with “Yesterday, ” and I thought that he was rushed his cover. I did not get any goosebumps from the song. Sorry, Christian! D+
Kylie Rothfield sang “Satisfaction,” and it was just average. If you want to see a performance that rocks, watch Rachel Crow’s cover on X Factor USA on YouTube. C
We McDonald has always been the gold standard ever since her golden Blind Audition. Tonight, she tackled Diana Ross’ “Home,” a song famously covered by Melinda Doolittle during American Idol’s sixth season. While Melinda Doolittle’s performance is nine-years-old, it still packs a powerful vocal punch to longtime singing competition fans. Thankfully, We delivered a spectacular cover that gave me the chills I needed from her. A-
Texas folk rocker Josh Halverson had to counter We with “Cupid.” It was a high performance, but I was still blown away by We so much that I thought that he only did a B- performance. Sa’Rayah concluded the Team Alicia round with her cover of “I’d Rather Go Blind.” While it was hard for me to divorce myself from Rachel Crow’s cover, I believed Sa’Rayah stole the round with her explosive vocal performance. A
As Sa’Rayah left the stage, it was time for Team Blake to take the stage! Blake’s brilliant strategies in both the Battle Rounds and the Knockout Rounds has made his team—the second strongest in the competition. Dana Harper performed Hall & Oates’ “Maneater.” I have to say this was an uncanny song for her to sing. Unfortunately, I believed that the band swallowed her. C
Austin Allsup sang “I Ain’t Living Long Like This” and he was in his element. Austin’s vocals blew me away, and his showmanship is second to none. He was one of the first male artists that I got excited for, and I believe he has a bright future in music. A
Jason Warrior had to follow Austin’s excellent performance with Drake’s “One Voice.” Just like Dana, I believed that the band was louder than him and I thought there were some microphone issues throughout the performance. D+ Next, Sundance Head performed “Blue Ain’t Your Color.” While I was very unfamiliar with the song, Sundance’s bombastic vocals gave me chills, and it was one of his personal best performances on the show. A- LA songwriter and mom Courtney Harrell concluded the Team Blake round with a sultry “It Must Have Been Love.” Courtney reminds me so much of a young Diana Ross and no matter what happens; she will have a great career ahead of her. A
As Courtney left the stage, we found out who will be representing Team Alicia in the Top 12. Carson revealed that America saved Christian Cuevas and We McDonald (which Miley corrected predicted during the Coaches’ Commentary). This left Alicia was a tough decision to make. After complimenting Josh and Kylie, she chose Sa’Rayah to complete her team.
While Alicia said goodbye to both Kylie and Josh, it was Team Miley’s turn to shine! Sophia Urista’s cover of Rod Stewart’s “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy” was a mixed bag. There were some high vocal runs, but at times, she lost my attention. C Girl Meets World alum Darby Walker sang “Those Were the Days” and I am so sorry Darby, but you would be the first artist to receive my “X.” Her performance was all over the place! F
Aaron Gibson brought Team Miley back on track with “Round Here.” His raw vocals shook the Universal Studios Hollywood soundstage and made me smile. B+ Belle Jewel continued Team Miley’s hot streak with a haunting cover of “Runaway.” Unlike Sophia or Darby, she has an “X Factor” about her that is missing in today’s music market. A- Ali Caldwell concluded the Team Miley round, and she had the best performance of all five of Miley’s artists. She reminded me so much of a young Darlene Love as she stole the song with “Times Have Changed.” A+
Team Blake joined Carson center stage to find out their fates. While Sundance Head and Austin Allsup received the public vote, it was up to the four-time winning coach to choose the last artist. After quieting the crowd, Blake wanted Courtney to move on. I got to say that both Blake and America made the right decisions.
Finally, Team Adam took the stage! Brendan Fletcher tackled the Bee Gees’ “To Love Somebody, ” and he gave me the chills. I hoped that Barry Gibb was watching the performance because he would be proud of Brendan’s cover! A
Simone Gundy is either love or hate her, but however, she tackled Sia’s “Diamonds,” a song that made La’Porsha Renae, the final frontrunner of American Idol. I have to say Simone’s cover was nothing special and if you want to watch a unique cover of the song, watch La’Porsha’s cover. D Josh Gallagher tackled Zac Brown Band’s “Colder Weather,” and it was one of the best performances of the night. I got chills and made an impression on me! A-
Crooner Riley Elmore wants to be the show’s first crooner to win, but I have to say America’s Got Talent finalist Sal Valentinetti’s golden voice is still fresh in my ears and Sal has a greater voice than Riley! D Billy Gilman concluded the evening with his rendition of Roy Orbison’s “Crying.” All I have to say is that this was the night’s real vocal master class and I hope that Billy is one of the last artists standing this season. A+
As Billy left the stage, it was time for to learn the fates of Team Miley. America saved Aaron Gibson (a welcomed surprise!) and Ali Caldwell (thank goodness!). This left Miley in a true pickle, and for the first time, she listened to the audience and chose to save Darby, which was the season’s worst decision.
Finally, it was time for Team Adam to face the music! After describing each strength of his team, Carson revealed that Billy Gilman and Josh Gallagher were saved by America. At the last minute, Adam chose Brendan to move on to the Top 12!
Next week, the Top 12 will be mentored by country icon Garth Brooks!